Talking to others about depression results in a variety of reactions. Some of the reactions are kind. Other reactions are…. how do I put this? Well, let’s just say after we’ve parted ways I wonder how they tie their shoes each day without help. I’m not judging them for their reaction, I’m legit perplexed. You’d be, too. Trust me.
Talking to others about depression results in a variety of reactions
I won’t share the ones that make me wonder how people tie their shoes without help, because honestly, they are just offensive in so many ways. Rather, I’ll share ones that can be worked on, even though I’m 100 percent sure those saying them mean well. Plus, I’ll share some that are pure gold, and help those of us sharing a difficult journey, to share even more. It helps us feel we’re helping others with our admission of depression.
Ones that could be worked on…..
It’s one way to respond, I suppose
It’s interesting how people react to my depression. My favorite is when they cock their head to the side, and say things like “awww, that’s rough/hard/a bummer.” Really? Awww? What am I, two years old with a scraped knee? I’m an adult woman with depression. It’s also showing you don’t know depression is a real thing. It’s a strange response, and I’ve gotten it multiple times. Makes me wonder if that’s how these people react when told someone has cancer, or have suffered a stroke. I’m not one to give it a second thought in the moment, because obviously a person who responds in this way doesn’t truly “get it.” I do, however, shake my head once I’ve walked away, and hope no one in their lives goes through what I’m going through.
Really? How does one know this?
Often, I don’t know how to handle the “it’ll get better, just hang in there” response. What I want to ask is “really? How does one know this?” I’m sure it’s something people say, because they think it’ll make me feel better. I chalk it up to them not understanding what depression is, and how it affects every part of a person’s thought process. All of us understand you mean well, and you probably have no idea what to say when you’re being told someone who looks okay is living with depression. However, unless you know for sure it’ll get better if we hang in there, try not to say it. It’s sort of like telling someone to relax when they are upset. It just upsets the person more. At least, that’s the case for me.
Responses that are simple, and help keep me motivate to get well and share my journey
Thank you for sharing your story.
Magic. When someone genuinely thanks me for sharing my story. It’s short. Simple. To the point. It’s all we really need.
Sharing your story will help those with depression to hear they’re not alone.
Another simple statement, and one that takes it a step further than the first one. Yes, thank you for understanding I’m sharing my journey to help others. Even if I only help one other person, it’s important to share my story. It’s important to share the struggles, the accomplishments, and all that falls in between.
For people like me that have depression, it really helps to read other’s stories.
I love hearing this. I’ve gotten tons of emails, and messages, stating exactly this sentiment. It’s amazing how many people are out there, suffering with depression, but afraid to share with others. Mostly, I think it is because depression has a stigma to it. If you have depression, you’re somehow damaged, and can’t function in life. If people only knew how many people around them have depression, and are contributing to the world in amazing ways.
Just know this before you respond
Stepping out, and sharing my story, and journey, will hopefully help people step out from the stigma and know, it’s not a negative thing to have depression. It’s just a part of what makes us, us. Freckles. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Strong nails. Big boobs. Depression. It’s just one more thing that makes me who I am. It’s not a bad thing. Is it a bit more difficult to deal with than having brown hair, well, sure.
However, no one has to look down and give me the head tilt. We share our stories to empower others. No need to feel sorry for us, or insist it’ll get better. At least, for me this is the case. Every person handles depression in their own way…..